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21/05/2024

Topping Out Ceremonies Held At The Meadows And Buchan Street

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Topping out ceremonies were held at the developments of The Meadows and Buchan Street by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) as construction reached its highest point at each site.

Delivered through the equal partnership between Cambridge City Council and award-winning housebuilder, The Hill Group, the developments will comprise 106 new council homes in total. CIP will deliver 28 one and two-bedroom council-rent apartments at Buchan Street.

Furthermore, the next phase of development at The Meadows includes 78 one and two-bedroom apartments available for council rent. These apartments supplement the new, state-of-the-art, highly sustainable community centre, which was completed during phase one, along with the initial 22 one and two-bedroom council-rent apartments. All residences are wheelchair accessible and adaptable, with four apartments at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street specifically designed to accommodate wheelchair users.

Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member, said: "These topping out events celebrate the ongoing collaboration and commitment of our partnership to deliver high-quality sustainable council homes in the city. As well as the new homes, we are also addressing local needs by delivering new and improved community and sports facilities, and open spaces."

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The new council homes have been built as part of Cambridge City Council's wider programme of work across Cambridge to improve accommodation standards for people living in existing council homes, to build additional council homes to meet local needs, and to address wider housing supply issues.

Tom Hill, Managing Director at The Hill Group commented: "We are delighted to celebrate reaching this stage at Buchan Street and the second phase at The Meadows. These developments are the result of extensive consultation that took place with the local community, stakeholders, and councillors to provide additional sustainable, affordable homes for local people and give residents community facilities that are flexible to meet many needs and are fit for the future."

The newly opened community centre, opened by Mayor Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood and visited by Her Majesty the Queen earlier this year, features a double-height hall, a family centre, a youth wing, a café, a pre-school and bookable meeting rooms, offering valuable resources for residents. Additionally, CIP has prioritized enhancements to existing open spaces, including the creation of a high-quality, free-draining football pitch approved by Sports England, new play areas, a skate area, MUGA (multi-use games area), while preserving amenities like the zip wire and trim trail.

The woodland area has been improved with understory planting, bat and bird boxes, and log piles. There is also supplementary tree planting throughout, and a wildflower meadow to soften the transition from street to grassland. Generous green corridors with wide footpaths, new trees, and ornamental planting are also being created through the layout of the residential and community hub, linking the development with the surrounding area.

CIP has placed sustainability at the forefront of the development, guaranteeing that all homes are gas-free and equipped with increased insulation to minimize heat loss and alleviate the impact of fuel poverty. Communal air-source heat pumps supply warmth to the apartments, while solar photovoltaic panels and biodiverse green roofs are integrated to improve the overall sustainability of the project. Moreover, MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) systems are installed in all residences and extensive sections of the new community hub to ensure clean airflow. These endeavours have resulted in improved U-values, leading to a notable 68 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Electric vehicle charging points are in place, along with the infrastructure for further charging points. Additionally, ample cycle storage facilities are provided to encourage sustainable travel.

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